Prevalence of multiple sclerosis among Hispanic/Latinx
Researchers used to believe that Hispanics/Latinx in the United States were virtually untouched by multiple sclerosis. A recent study funded by the National Multiple Sclerosis Society that analyzed information from health insurance claims found that anyone can develop MS.
After evaluating 3 years’ of claims by 96 million adults, researchers found that for every 100,000 in the U.S., 161.2 Hispanics/Latinx have MS. Among people who are not Hispanic/Latinx, the prevalence is 374.8 for white people and 298.4 for Black people.
Symptoms of MS in Hispanics
Studies have found that, compared to others with the disease, Hispanics/Latinx are diagnosed at a much younger age and are more likely to have more severe MS and an earlier onset of symptoms, such as mobility issues and optic neuritis.
Also, a study indicates that due to several individual and institutional barriers, relatively few people of color participate in clinical trials, so when therapies are approved, information about their impact is limited.
Stories from people with MS
Read about the impact of MS on others, what they do to control their symptoms and how they live their best life with the disease.
Resources for Hispanics/Latinx living with multiple sclerosis
We offer information in English and Spanish through webpages, booklets, an annual summit and webinars featuring experts on different aspects of the disease.
Cultural barriers to healthcare
Spanish speakers often face language barriers in hospitals and doctors’ offices. Among the obstacles for the community are cultural differences, lack of healthcare access and immigration issues. The Society is doubling up its efforts to offer much-needed resources.
Get involved in MS research for the Hispanic community
Greater participation in research would offer a clearer picture of the impact of MS on Hispanics/Latinx. Investigators want to find out about social, cultural and genetic factors that may play a role in the disease. This will allow us to make changes that improve our health outcomes.